Classical India & Asia

A Complete Unit Plan for World History in Middle School or High School

Unit eight in my World History curriculum is an extensive one, covering all things related to both Classical India and Asia. This includes the major dynasties of China from the Shang to the Song, India's Maurya and Gupta Empires, the Mongols, and more.

What might at first appear to be overwhelming is broken down into simple, engaging lessons with interactive resources that allow students to process and understand the contributions of these diverse societies.

The complete unit bundle of resources and lesson plans can be downloaded here or you can join Students of History and access to everything online with a subscription.


The unit kicks off with a lesson on the early Shang and Zhou Dynasties in China. A PowerPoint and guided notes (along with flipped classroom video and Google Slides options) serves as an introduction and connects students to the previous unit on Ancient China's Yellow River Valley

Students then compare the early philosophies of Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism before concluding with a poster project on Filial Piety. You can also provide students with the thorough 9-page unit guide packet here and allow them to work on it throughout the unit. 

Lesson 2 moves on to the Qin and Han Dynasties with a  PowerPoint and guided notes (plus video & Slides) and a primary source analysis activity on Qin Shi Huang, unified China's 1st emperor.

Students next investigate the Great Wall of China with a reading and analysis worksheet followed by a video and interactive notebook activity or digital notebook page on the Great Wall.

The last lesson on China includes another PowerPoint/video/Slides with guided notes on the Tang and Song Dynasties and a set of primary source images and documents for students to analyze at stations or in groups. There's then a review activity on the Tang and Song Dynasties that can be used as an exit ticket or homework.

There are two lessons on Buddhism up next in which students first learn about its founding and Siddhartha Gautama before moving on to cover the core beliefs of Buddhism. A PowerPoint and guided notes is available along with reading analysis, video, and activity on Buddhism’s 8-Fold Path in groups or at stations.

Next, students learn about the Silk Road and its importance in connecting people across these regions. A visually-engaging the PowerPoint (plus guided notes, video, & Slides) introduces students to the key trade route before they begin a stations activity in which they make stops along the Silk Road to learn about goods, ideas, and the people who moved along it.

The unit shifts over to the Indian subcontinent next with a lesson on the  Mauryan and Gupta Empires. A PowerPoint (plus notes/video/Slides) helps students to understand both powerful empires. Students then move on to a primary source analysis on Classical India, before concluding with a eulogy project for the Gupta Empire.

Feudal Japan is the focus of the next lesson. A “Samurai and Tea Master Story” makes for a great discussion starter/warm up before moving on to the PowerPoint and guided notes resource on Japan during this period. A map activity is available next followed by a document analysis in which students compare samurai and knights.

The unit concludes with a lesson on Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. Again, a PowerPoint (and notes/video/Slides) can be used to start things off before students complete a mapping activity on the Mongol Empire or interactive notebook page. There's also several great videos to share with students along with vocabulary resources to help finish out the unit.

The unit concludes with a complete unit guide packet plus review games, videos, and activities before moving on to an editable unit test, with a Google Forms version also available for easy grading.

You can download the complete unit here and have everything saved right to your desktop. You can also begin a World History subscription to access everything online. A subscription grants you immediate access to the ENTIRE curriculum for World History. That’s 24 complete units full of engaging resources and lessons. 

If you’re unsure which option is better for you, you can read more about the differences between TpT purchases and subscriptions here

Thanks so much for checking it out!

World History Units